PRESQUE ISLE, ME – The 2016 Maine Presque Isle Volleyball team will kick off their season this weekend at the Husson Invitational Tournament in Bangor, ME. The team is under new direction this season as Jonathon Bowman has been hired to take over the program. With just two returners from last year's team, the rebuilding Owls will look to improve on 2015's 4-22 record.
Bowman's career in college athletics (included on the staffs at the University of Wyoming, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, and Holy Cross) as well as his experiences with the United States Youth Volleyball League and Junior Olympic Volleyball were all key factors in his hiring. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the game, as well as his immense recruiting background, have the Owls hopeful for an improved 2016 season and continued success going forward.
The Owls return just two players from a season ago. Senior Abby Jewett (Bass Harbor, ME) will be looked on to lead the team this year. An AD3I All-Second Team Player from a year ago, Jewett led the team in kills last year with 146 and digs with 226. Also lending her experience from last year's team, Hannah Williams (Park Falls, NS) received AD3I All-Second Team and AD3I Player of the Week (week ending October 4, 2015) last season as a sophomore. Williams led the team in assists with 232.
The program will look to the many new faces to contribute immediately this year. Freshmen Laura Aroz (Tuscon, AZ), a setter and outside hitter; Cheyenne McMillen (Bells, TX), an outside hitter and middle blocker; and Esmerelda Galvan, a libero; will be looked upon to be key contributors for the Owls this season. Also competing for time on the court will be Brooke Smith (SO, Calais, ME), Sara Boies (FR, Baileyville, ME), and Jasmine Pelletier (SO, Madawaska, ME). All three players look to earn their time as middle blockers and right side hitters. Brooklyn Plummer (FR, Washburn, ME) will add to the mix, adding depth as a libero.
The UMPI Volleyball Program will compete as associate members of the Northern Athletic Conference this season. The Owls were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coach's poll. They will open conference play on Friday, September 30 at Husson University. On October 1st, they will take on Castleton and Green Mountain (both matches played at Husson). On Friday, October 14th UMPI will travel to Lyndon State, where they will match up against the Hornets on both Friday and Saturday before taking on Johnson State on October 15th. The Owls will end up their conference and regular season schedule on Saturday, October 22nd when they will challenge Colby-Sawyer and Maine Maritime, both matches to be played at Colby-Sawyer.
Maine Presque Isle's home schedule will begin with Maine Machias on Wednesday, September 21st at 5:30. On October 8th, the Owls will host Unity College in a doubleheader matchup that begins at 1. The last chance to see the UMPI Volleyball team at home this season will be on Wednesday, October 19th against U Maine Fort Kent. Game time is scheduled for 5:30.
For a complete schedule and more updated information, follow the Owls at owls.umpi.edu.